Your feedback about the concept art video, that we uploaded on YouTube, and the detailed Quantum Rush feature at Concept Art World have made us aware that many of you are very interested in the topic of concept art.
Hence, we have decided to give you some deeper insights into the subject with the following interview with our concept artist Daniel Graffenberger!
Q: Hi Daniel, for how long have you been producing concept artwork?
A: Taking my first attempts into account, I started doing concept arts around the end of 2008. I had, however, already begun doing digital drawings in 2006.
Q: What originally interested you in becoming a concept artist?
A: My primary motivation stemmed from my time spent in the game modding scene. It provided me with the opportunity to put my hobby to good use. I have always found it amazing to see something that I have created in my mind turned into reality, even if it’s virtual reality in this case.
When I first saw the concept drawings for the PC game “Homeworld” and other drawings by Rob Cunningham and Jon Aaron Kambeitz , I knew immediately that was what I wanted to do.
Q: What would you say are the primary talents and skills that make a good concept artist?
A: I believe a concept artist needs to be able to use illustrations as a means to clearly demonstrate what is expected of the final graphics. They should also be aware of the overall production workflow so that they can make concessions.
Also, they will have to accept that often whole concepts will have to be thrown out when change requests come in.
That’s why it makes sense to develop a technique for yourself that illustrates your design ideas early on.
Q: What do you like to draw most? Do you have a favorite subject matter for your art?
A: Designing and drawing futuristic things, like interstellar spaceships and similar objects, is what I like best. I always try to come up with new designs that allow for conclusions about the practical functions and benefits of the object in question. The credibility and plausibility of such a design is a very important factor for me. The observer is supposed to get the impression that what they are seeing will indeed be possible in the not-too-far-away future. That is why most of my creations belong to the realm of Sci-Fi.
Topics like fantasy, with magic and sorcery, and similar subjects are not my cup of tea. Besides, I am not good at that kind of stuff, so I rather leave it to the people who are more capable in those areas.
Some private Concept Arts from Daniel
Q: What sources of inspiration do you use for your drawings in general and which ones in particular for Quantum Rush?
A: I usually take my inspiration from music, movies, books and especially games. As for Quantum Rush, it has mostly been comparable games, like WipEout or F-Zero. Star Wars crosses my mind now and then, but I try to keep my designs adequately distanced. Also, from time to time, I like to take a look at the work of Syd Mead and Chris Foss.
Q: What is the biggest challenge with a project like Quantum Rush?
A: Not to lose track of the balance between quantity and quality in spite of time constraints.
Q: What do you like best about your work on Quantum Rush?
A: The development of the various racer designs. I want to make it so players can recognize which manufacturer a design belongs to at first glance.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a concept artist?
A: As I have not been working as a concept artist for a very long time, I am not sure if I can give any particularly good advice, but I will try anyway .*lol*
I think it is important that you first get some experience in this area to help you decide if this is really for you. It is also really important to have references that show what kind of style and genres you serve and what level of professionalism you have. A good portfolio is often much more valuable and meaningful than certificates from educational institutions.